Does Roman Roy Die at the End of Succession?

HBO ‘Succession‘ follows Logan Roy’s children as they feud among themselves and with their father to prove they can succeed him at the helm of his vast business empire. In the fourth and final season, the Roy siblings inevitably reach the finish line, and their stories receive a natural conclusion in context with the power struggle they were locked in for four seasons. However, Roman Roy’s ambiguous ending might leave viewers curious as to whether Roman Roy dies at the end of ‘Succession.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Roman Roy Does Not Die

Roman Roy is the youngest son of Logan Roy, the owner of Waystar RoyCo, a global media conglomerate. In the series, Roman is known for his erratic personality and outspokenness. As a child, he was physically and verbally abused by his father. However, Roman still craved Logan’s approval, leading to him joining the family business and learning the trade. On several occasions, Logan promised Roman that his youngest son would succeed him by taking over the company. In the fourth season, Roman is against his father’s decision to sell Waystar RoyCo to Swedish businessman Lukas Matsson. However, Roman quickly tries to play nice with Roman and seemingly reconciles with his father, who once again promises to hand over what is left of his business empire to Roman.

In the third episode, Logan dies, and Kendall and Roman are appointed interim co-CEOs of their father’s company. Roman sides with Kendall, who suggests blocking the sale to Matsson’s company, GoJo. However, in the series finale, Roman doubts voting in Kendall’s favor at the upcoming board meeting. He hides with his mother, Caroline, on her Barbados vacation home, only for Kendall and Shiv to arrive and try and convince him to side with them. Despite his doubts, Roman votes to block the deal, but Shiv turns on Kendall and ensures the sale goes through smoothly. Ultimately, Roman gives up on the dream of succeeding his father, and we last see him at a bar having a glass of martini as he grins to himself. As a result, Roman does not die in the ‘Succession’ finale, but his ending leaves plenty to be desired.

What Is the Meaning of Roman’s Ending?

In ‘Succession,’ Roman is considered the least likely to succeed his father alongside his sister, Shiv. Although Roman initially did not have any management-level experience, he completed an internal course that gave him some handle on the company’s running. However, he makes some of the most stupid and ridiculous decisions in his quest to win Logan’s approval. As a result, Roman can be described as someone who is simply seeking a meaningful connection with his father and siblings. However, such is the history and nature of the Roy family’s interpersonal relationship that the only way for Roman to do so is by participating in their facial conflicts about business and power.

Ultimately, Roman’s story ends just as it started – alone at a bar with a drink. In the big argument between the Roy siblings near the episode’s end, Roman is the first one to acknowledge that he and his siblings were never worthy successors to their father. This moment of self-realization from Roman finally allows him to surrender his desire to fight to hold a piece of his father’s business empire. Thus, Roman is finally free from the burdens he had invoked on himself due to his upbringing. However, it comes at the cost of losing the slender hope of a meaningful bond with his siblings. Logan considers Roman to be most like him, and the same is highlighted when Roman signs off on the deal in Kendall’s absence. Thus, Roman gets to be a part of his father’s legacy but not in the way he desires, adding to the tragedy of a man who chased after a dream he never truly cared about.

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